From adoption as a foster child to some of the highest courts in the United States, Ginger Schroder thanks her education for most of her life’s accomplishments.

So after her most recent accomplishment, election to the Cattaraugus County legislature, the Farmersville resident decided to establish a scholarship with her legislative salary, with the hope of providing a bright future through education for students in her legislative district.

The Ginger D. Schroder Legislative District 3 Scholarship at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation will be given to a graduating high school student residing in Cattaraugus County Legislative District 3, which covers the towns of Ellicottville, Farmersville, Franklinville, Lyndon, Machias and Mansfield, who will pursue a trade degree or 2-or 4-year college degree. The first award will be made in 2021.

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Schroder, who has been recognized as one of Western New York’s top lawyers for labor and employment law, knows well the challenge of paying for an education.

She hopes that the scholarship fund can ease the financial burden for deserving students in district three.

“It really is a small gesture,” she said of the scholarship. “I wish I could do more, but it is my hope that this scholarship will help ease the financial load for at least some students.

“I was lucky to be the recipient of a couple of small scholarships,” Schroder remembered of her time in school. “They did not make a large dent in the expense of attending school, but they certainly helped with the cost of books and incidentals. I was grateful for that.”

Schroder was adopted into a foster family in the early 1960s – a family that gave her a loving, nurturing home, despite modest financial means.

That family encouraged her to pursue higher education.

Schroder first attended SUNY Binghamton, where she pursued a double major in history and theater and a minor in religious studies while working two to three jobs at a time.

She then attended law school at SUNY Buffalo, where she worked full-time while pursuing her J.D.

That education led her to a fruitful career in law that has taken her as far as the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I have been lucky to have done well in my chosen career and feel that I was fortunate enough to obtain an education that made that possible,” Schroder said.

The same love for her community in Farmersville that led to the decision to establish the scholarship fund was the driving force behind her decision to run for the county legislature.

“Until 2017, I largely led a pretty quiet and private life,” she said. “I observed that becoming active at the county level was one way I could have a voice in setting policy relating to the future and collective vision of our community.”

Schroder expects that with her salary’s contribution to the scholarship, the fund should grow to $25,000 and fund an annual scholarship in perpetuity.

Schroder expressed her excitement to serve her district and the county through her time in the legislature.

“I am very proud to be a part of the Cattaraugus County Legislature,” she remarked. “I believe we can accomplish some great things over the next year and beyond.”

CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit praised Schroder’s generosity and dedication to her district.

“Ginger’s decision to donate her legislative salary in this manner is incredibly generous and humbling to see,” said Buchheit. “This scholarship fund is a tangible demonstration of a special kind of commitment she has to her constituents in district three.”

Donations can be made to the Ginger D. Schroder Legislative District 3 Scholarship at 301 North Union St., Suite 203, or online at cattfoundation.org.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email foundation@cattfoundation.org, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).